One Essential Tip All Developers Should Follow To Ensure A Happy Life
Fri 17 February, 2017 / By Jon D Jones
Do you want a happy life? Read on to learn one tip that could make your life a lot more enjoyable. I have a lot of people reach out to me through this site, some are just starting out, some are permanent, freelance or contractor and the interesting thing is that some projects sound like nightmares, some projects sound fun, but do you know one of the biggest differentiating factors in that matter? Then let me explain.
In my career, I've probably worked with around 30 large scale organizations full-time in different guises, many are household names, some are less well known but are experts in their field. I've worked on web projects for over a decade and in essence, the nature of the work doesn't really change. Every company needs a website and every company has a deadline. Some of the projects I've worked on have been considered very successful, some projects I've worked on have been considered successful for a business, but if I'm honest, a failure for me, some earlier on in my career could definitely be considered a lose/lose.
If you find yourself constantly arguing at work, or you feel undervalued, from my experience you need to recognize that a company won't change, the ethos won't change and the more you try and introduce change the more resistance you'll encounter. The more frustrated you get with a job, generally the more sarky you'll become, the less likely you'll give suggestions and generally the less happy you will be in life.
One of the things I've learned from contracting is that you can lead a horse to water, but no matter how logical, persuasive, angry or frustrated you get, you can't get it to drink if it doesn't want to.
I think the thing with a lot of developers is, in essence, we are clever people who have good ideas. The main reason why a lot of people get into development is that they like solving problems. When we undertake a big project, we can all see the problems, we all have different opinions in how to solve it. Don't get me wrong, in a lot of instances, people get blinded and think that their way is the only right way. None of us can be right all the time and project work is full of compromise, the old adage, time, money, quality, pick two will always play a factor in project work.
What You Can Do
If you have ever worked in an environment where no matter what you suggest your suggestions fall on deaf ears, from my experience your best option is to do some soul-searching, and really evaluate if it's your own ego getting in your way. If you feel confident that your ideas would add value to a company, but for whatever reason, they are not valuing you, then the best course is to leave. Don't upset yourself and be unhappy in life, just for a job. I think most people fail to grasp, it is just business at the end of the day and you should treat your career, even if you are permanent, like you are running your own business. If a company is treating you in a way that doesn't add value to your own personal business, you need to do something about it. Leaving a job might feel scary, going from the known to the unknown isn't always comfortable, but working in the right environment in the right role for your goals is the only way you'll be happy.
I've worked with many different types of people over the years, some people are happy to be told what to do, some want to just do cool tech things but don't care about managing people, some people have been really ambitious and want to do everything. The more ambitious people tend to be the people who get more frustrated.
With all this in mind, the next time you have a job interview, this should be the biggest evaluating factor in when you take a job. When the interviewer asks you if you have any questions, being able to elaborate what you want in your career, your working style and how your ideas will be taken on board, will make you stand out from the other candidates. If you follow it strictly, you'll turn down the jobs and roles where you would always be unhappy.
You will do your best work when you work in the right environment, so your biggest challenge is finding the environment where you can thrive. As I'm writing this, I find myself in the situation I mention above and this issue will affect every developer at some stage of their life. It's only natural that as your skills and experience improve, you can outgrow certain roles. If you are at the higher end scale of the spectrum, then the amount of impact you can make on a company should be at the top of the agenda. So, my tip to anyone reading this is to choose where you work, not on a basis of they simply said yes, or the potential short-term project that might be dangled in front of you. Make your decision based on where you will be able to make the biggest impact. If you find out a role won't provide you with that opportunity, then it's better to bite the bullet and leave to pastures new, rather than waste both parties time and make your life unhappy.